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Is aging a “Retro”spective event?

Reactivation of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), the relics of ancient infections, has been implicated in a number of disease contexts. In this issue of Cell, Liu et al. show how reactivation of ERVs in old age can induce senescence. This awakening of ERVs is associated with epigenetic derepression and contributes to age-associated chronic inflammation.

Lymphatic vessels in bone support regeneration after injury

Lymphatic vessels not only connect secondary lymphoid organs with tissue sites throughout the body but are also now shown directly irrigating bones and participating in their regeneration.

Coordinated cancer chaos

Stochastic processes, such as genetic instability and microenvironment evolution, drive tumor heterogeneity, thereby creating the chaotic appearance of tumors in histopathology. In this issue of Cell, Lin et al. reveal that tumors are surprisingly spatially organized from a molecular to tissue scale, indicating that cancers evolve as autonomously patterned...

Light modulates glucose metabolism by a retina-hypothalamus-brown adipose tissue axis

Identification of the neuro circuit connecting photoreception to adaptive thermogenesis in brown adipose tissue maps out the biological path mediating the effect of light on glucose metabolism, suggesting potential avenues for managing unintended consequences on metabolic homeostasis by light exposure.

SON-light activation of glucose regulation

Body temperature maintenance is an important regulator of glucose homeostasis. In this issue of Cell, Meng et al. discover a regulatory axis in which light activation of photoreceptive retinal ganglia stimulates the supraoptic nucleus (SON) to inhibit brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis and impair glucose homeostasis. This could explain the impact...

Multiplexed 3D atlas of state transitions and immune interaction in colorectal cancer

Multiplexed whole-slide imaging analysis characterizes intermixed and graded morphological and molecular features in human colorectal cancer samples, highlighting large-scale cancer characteristic structural features and variations in intra-tertiary lymphoid cellular compositions and structural patterning.

Loss of epigenetic information as a cause of mammalian aging

Aging is characterized by changes in cellular identity and function over time. This process is driven by changes in chromatin factor localization during DNA break repair, which alters the epigenome and advances the epigenetic clock. Expression of a subset of Yamanka factors, OSK, can reverse these changes and modulate aging.

An evolved AAV variant enables efficient genetic engineering of murine T cells

By combining structure-guided evolution and genome-wide screening, this work identifies an adeno-associated virus and co-factor that enable gene targeting at high efficiencies in mouse T lymphocytes, thus opening the path for T cell manipulations in murine models.

Structures of the entire human opioid receptor family

Structures of all four human opioid receptors with the endogenous or exogenous opioid peptides are reported, which reveal the conserved mechanisms of opioid receptor activation and specific recognition of opioid peptides by the receptors.

An E3 ligase network engages GCN1 to promote the degradation of translation factors on stalled ribosomes

Oltion et al. unveil a ubiquitin ligase network in charge of ensuring translation factor quality control in response to stalled ribosomes.

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